April 12, 2021 By Linda Marx People
Pharrell Williams and Miami hospitality honcho David Grutman want guests to “seize the day” at their new Goodtime Hotel on Miami Beach. The multi-Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and producer opened up to PEOPLE about his vision for the new passion project.
“We want the Goodtime Hotel to impart a feeling of both revitalization and that rare, exciting thrill that takes over when you discover something special,” Williams says of the property that stretches along a city block of Washington Ave. in the central historic section of South Beach. “When coming up with the name, we decided to make Goodtime one word as it created a new narrative to light up the community around it. We are taking a long-forgotten street and will again make it the center of attention. We can’t wait to be part of this community.”
The pair envisioned a pink-and-white-striped swimming pool area that mimic the custom green-and-white-striped sheets on the guestrooms’ beds. There’s a glossy peach-toned and natural oak library adorned with giraffe and parrot floor lamps; vibrant elephant art hanging in the lobby; a restaurant wrapped in nubby grasscloth and painted Miami Vice teal; and in the suites, leopard-print benches and signature pink rotary dial phones.
Williams and Grutman’s mission was to break the mold with design and decor by offering an escapist and happy hotel for leisure travelers complete with a lot of attention to quirky detail.
“When guests arrive at the hotel and walk through the doors, it becomes a full-on experience,” Grutman — who also owns Miami celebrity-favorites LIV and Story night clubs, and restaurants Swan, Papi Steak and Komodo — tells PEOPLE. “We are beyond excited!”
The partners worked alongside real estate developers Michael D. Fascitelli and Eric Birnbaum of Imperial Companies. They hired architect Morris Adjmi (who is responsible for the revitalization of Manhattan’s Meatpacking District), noted landscape designer Raymond Jungles, and cinematic interior designer Ken Fulk, known around the world for his elaborate visual experiences.
Based in San Francisco, Fulk spent five-and-a-half years working his design magic in the seven story, 266-room hotel with nearly 100,000-square-feet of public space. “I dressed up in my suit and bow tie to first meet the partners at David’s house, and quickly learned he had a boat and super models sitting by the pool,” Fulk tells PEOPLE.
“Pharrell, David and I are opposites but we have kinetic energy and share an outlook on crafting experiences. We know people want to accumulate memories while traveling. We are coming out of a mad slumber of a pandemic, and we want to connect people with positivity. You can not go to the Goodtime Hotel without smiling.”
With its corrugated facade, three-story glass atrium entryway with large Austrian lanterns from WOKA, stone fountain, and Art Deco masterwork, guests will become immersed in the sensuality, romance, nostalgia and wonderment of old Miami Beach.
“Ken is famous for creating happy feelings, and with his color palette of pinks and mints, the hotel screams tropical Miami,” says Grutman. “We wanted a homey feeling within an everything-at-your-fingertips oasis.”
While the team kept the Art Deco facade on the first floor (a style long associated with the city) and the architect helped create the building with Deco references, the hotel is otherwise a totally new structure. Fulk imagined the unfolding layers of an escapist movie evocative of what Miami Beach was, yet unlike anywhere modern guests have ever been.
“We have created a weird cocktail in Miami Beach which is one of the most exotic places in America,” Fulk continues. “We have written a love letter to the city with this hotel.”
The lobby, rendered in sexy and soothing hues of jade and shell pink, is outfitted in rattan furnishings and fabric murals of giant palms and ferns which transport guests to another world. The art-filled library — ideal for coffee, cocktails or cooking up new ideas — is like your chic grandmother’s house.
Strawberry Moon, named for the full moon that occurs closest to summer solstice, is the centerpiece of the hotel. This full service restaurant, bar and 30,000-square-foot pool club in an indoor/outdoor setting is designed to create good experiences from day to night. The outdoor terrace, done in peacock blue with light pinstripe awnings and broad-stripe pastel tiling, ooze both comfort and class.
“We wanted to create a special atmosphere at the hotel, and that is reflected in our restaurant Strawberry Moon, and our completely decked-out pool,” Pharrell tells PEOPLE.
Fulk’s concept emulates old Caribbean and Central American resort towns — say Havana, Nassau, Acapulco, or select hideaways in Costa Rica. “We created an old fashioned country club meets yacht club vibe,” says Fulk. “Inside, the restaurant features custom lighting, Murano glass fixtures and curated art.”
The cuisine will be a mix and match of casual and classic Mediterranean dishes with a full menu of specialty cocktails that Grutman insists will be one of a kind.
“We will use florals and exotic fruits that have never before been offered so people will be craving for cocktails,” he says. “We will constantly change the music at the pool, and with Pharrell and my contacts don’t be surprised to see big-time performers out there.”
For guest rooms, there is a 1,800-square-foot Presidential Suite called Arigato (meaning “thank you” in Japanese), smaller suites and regular guest rooms. Each offers custom bedding and drapes with a blackout option, Ortigia bath amenities, Waterworks bath accessories and pastel robes. Many rooms have either Biscayne Bay or Atlantic Ocean views which include spectacular sunrises and sunsets to create ever-changing Instagram Stories.
“One of my favorite features in the guest corridors is a carpet woven with mock wet footprints that highlights the joy and wonder of Miami Beach,” says Fulk. “It makes me feel like a kid again and puts a smile on my face.”
In addition, there are two fitness centers: the indoor area features top-of-the-line equipment; outdoors is ideal for exercise and emulates the vibe of Venice Beach, California. Williams’s recording studio and 45,000 square feet of ground floor retail space can also be found within the hotel.
Indeed, The Goodtime Hotel is designed for both hell-raising and quiet contemplation, a mix of active and well-balanced lifestyles.
“It’s that adrenaline-fueled sensation of entering a whole new setting and a whole new mindset,” Pharrell says. “This place will provide a natural good time for all who come through.”